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Reviews
09 Mar 2015
by CARPology
Daiwa Whisker DF
The Scottish-brand’s luxury arm unleashes its first budget-priced DF model – and we’re first in line to try and blow it up (i.e. cast it to the horizon)

Extreme: it’s a word being bandied around a lot by the CARPology Hardware Test Team as they stand beside the 100-plus-acre Ocean Pit – part of the Harleston, Wortwell and District Angling Club. Extreme is how the guys are describing Daiwa’s latest, possibly greatest creation – the Whisker DF.

It is the most powerful, most spec-ed up, budget-end Daiwa rod ever, but there’s much more to this all-round rod than mere numbers and statistics. Those numbers are impressive enough, mind you: 50mm butt guide, innovative blank design and carbon technology, DPS reel seat, and, with the ‘big gun’ model, a casting distance of over 150yds. On the surface, it would appear that if you want a set of carp rods that offer something genuinely different, yet fits within your ‘amount I can spend without losing the house or the missus’ budget, then these Danny Fairbrass derived Whisker DF’s could be for you.

Previously, to be part of this exclusive ‘DF Club’ it meant you were either one of our super rich subscribers or had a big overdraft and a very understanding wife/bank manager (the Infinity DF has a starting price tag of a cool £335.00 – like we were saying, the super rich...), but thanks to technology getting passed down from the top-end Scottish production line, it now means you can get that tech in a more realistic family-man’s price bracket.

First cast was met with “holy crap!” We apologise for the blasphemy but it’s well-founded. To combine power with such a forgiving, throughout action blank is rare – particularly so when it has the Whisker’s price tag, but really we shouldn’t have been surprised. The basis of this rod, the Whisker, was once the backbone of the Daiwa brand in 90’s, so it comes packed with 20-plus years of heritage; heritage that leaves an unforgettable impression – that impression being: ‘I want to cast it again!’

There is obviously a difference between a £125.00 rod and one that retails for £300.00. In the Whisker’s case it’s not the fixtures and fittings, as Daiwa have equipped it with the same 50mm butt guide and spacings as the higher spec models. In fact, it also comes with the same slim shrink tube handle, flared butt end, matt black butt cap and the now trademark silk matt blank. But where Daiwa have excelled over their competitors is with the carbon and manufacturing process they’ve used.

The hidden trademark of any really good carp rod which is soft and forgiving but will still smash a lead a really long way is how quickly the blank recovers after you’ve given it the ‘full beans’. To see how the Whisker performed, our photographer shot the editor casting at 11 frames per second – a stills equivalent to filming super slow motion if you will. At the time he was using the 3lb model, which is a lot softer than we were all expecting, so if you want something with a bit more backbone then opt for the 3.5lb TC model. However, as you can see, the recovery was extremely impressive.

Simply put, this is a vast improvement on the original Whisker – and that was already bloody epic! And with prices starting at just £125.00, it’s clearly not too extreme for your bank manager/wife’s liking and it means you’re getting a piece of prime, premium rod technology and design for a fraction of the price you should pay for a rod of this calibre. Move over, Fairbrass, we’re coming to out-cast you…

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